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“He will need to do a fair bit more”: Sloane still in doubt for final

Football

Adelaide are still uncertain whether vice-captain Rory Sloane will play in tomorrow night’s AFL qualifying final against Greater Western Sydney.

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Sloane was on light duties at Adelaide’s training today as he continues his recovery from appendix surgery on Tuesday last week.

While Sloane has declared he wants to play, Adelaide coach Don Pyke says his selection committee has many factors to weigh up when they meet this afternoon.

“He had a light run this morning and we will finalise it this afternoon,” Pyke told reporters.

“He will need to do a fair bit more than he did this morning … he was just able to do some running this morning but he has still got a fair bit of ground to cover.”

Pyke refused to say whether Sloane had received medical clearance to play against the Giants in the Adelaide Oval fixture.

But the second-year head coach said it was possible Sloane would be named in Adelaide’s team and then face a last-minute fitness test on Thursday.

“We’ll see. We will just assess exactly what his chances are of playing and make the decision from there,” Pyke said.

“It is also not only what his capacity is based on the surgery but also what is best for him and best for the team as well. Those things all come into account.”

Adelaide claimed a double-chance courtesy of finishing top and are assured another home final, regardless of the result of the clash against the Giants.

“We have got to look at it from a viewpoint about what is best for his short-term – and we would love to have him playing tomorrow night – but if that is going to have an impact for him longer term, or impact his ability to perform at the level he wants to,” Pyke said.

“We will make a smart decision.

“Players want to play. Sometimes we have got to look at what is best for them and what they’re capable of, and that is what we will weigh up.”

Yesterday, the club’s website reported that Sloane was feeling better.

“The pain has started to disappear,” he said.

“Now, it’s just about building strength back up through the guts.

“I’ve had plenty of time to rest up and make sure it heals properly.

“(I’ve done) plenty of powerwalking and a slight little jog today (Tuesday) and a bit on the elliptical.

“We’ve still got about two-and-a-half days before we play. I think tomorrow I’ll really start to ramp things up, start running again and we’ll just assess it from there and see how I feel.”

– AAP

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